It has been more than 40 years since Eden and Leviathan (1975) demonstrated how Implicit Leadership Theories (ILTs) guide raters' sense-making processes when completing leadership questionnaires. In the intervening years, interest in implicit theories has been widespread and considerable research has been generated with significant implications for our understanding of leadership and followership processes in organizational settings (Epitropaki, Sy, Martin, Tram-Quon, & Topakas, 2013). Organizational members are sense-makers and they use their implicit theories to construct a simplified understanding of events that emphasize human qualities rather than the more complex effects of organization systems (Meindl, 1995). Such research recognizes the active, constructive role of perceivers in the social influence process that is at the heart of leadership. Recent theoretical developments (e.g., Lord, Brown, & Harvey, 2001; Lord & Shondrick, 2011) have highlighted the dynamic nature of leadership and followership schemas but empirical research has lagged behind. Thus, our motivation for this special issue was to showcase new empirical and conceptual work that captures ILTs and IFTs as dynamic, context-sensitive and time-sensitive phenomena.
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